Congestion ahead : expect delays

Living most of my life in Auckland, I am very familiar with the variability of the Auckland motorway system.  Generally speaking, if you’ve got a long distance to cover the motorway is the best bet. Occasionally you will spot the flicker of brake lights ahead and you know that things might slow down for a while, but once you get passed that slow spot, you’ll be back on track.


In very heavy traffic, we can be tempted to take the off-ramp, use the slower suburban roads for a while, and re-join the motorway when we think things might have improved. Occasionally this strategy might work, but if we were to hit the off-ramp every time we saw the flicker of brake lights ahead, or got the slightest inkling that there might be delays, we would be on and off the motorway every other exit. Most of the time, staying on the motorway is the best strategy, even with heavy traffic.

It’s the same with investing. Research and history shows us that the fastest and best way to reach our financial goals is to include an investment in shares. While there can be volatility, or short periods of time when other asset classes (e.g. fixed interest) can outperform shares, over the long term, shares outperform all other major asset classes. Staying invested in the market and accepting that sometimes we might feel we would be better off taking a different route is better than trying to time our entries and exits from the market. If we tried to time the market and got out or in every time we saw the flicker of brake lights ahead, we would risk exiting when prices are slightly down, and then buying back into the market after prices have recovered. We would lose ground every time.

Continuing the analogy, we reduce risk by diversifying our clients’ portfolios, ensuring we are not putting all our eggs in one basket, or in one vehicle on the motorway. We are investing in many different styles of funds and in a wide range of companies across several industries, markets and countries. Furthermore, depending on each client’s risk profile, we only have a portion of any portfolio invested in shares. The balance of the portfolio is already invested in slower moving, fixed interest investments.

We have started to see the flicker of brake lights ahead in international share markets. There are concerns over the potential exit of Britain from the Euro (which are subsiding) and uncertainty over the US elections. This is likely to mean that we will enter a period of falling share market prices. While we could lurch to the left and take the next exit, we believe that this would be a potentially costly mistake. Our advice is to expect that there will be some delays ahead, but stick to the strategy that will provide the best long term outcome.

As always, If you have any questions, please give your adviser a call.

Posted in Economics | 3 Comments

Edinburgh Tattoo in Wellington

This amazing event was held in Wellington this weekend.  Over 1200 people entertained thousands over four nights.  I went on Friday night, not expecting much, as I had no idea what it was or why it was special. I was so proud to be a kiwi, the rendition of Pokarekare Ana was spectacular, and here is a link to video to prove it (although it was much more powerful to be there with the audience humming the tune).

Pokarekare Ana 2016 Edinburgh Military Tattoo Wellington

Well done New Zealand, if you are back again in 10 years I will be getting tickets and bringing the family.

I have added a couple of photos, neither of which explain the shear volume of people at the “cake tin” or the amount performing, but you get the idea.



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NZ Fund Manager of the Year 2016 – Harbour

Well done and congratulations to Harbour Asset Management!Harbour Asset Management

New Zealand Fund Manager of the Year 2016 – Harbour Asset Management
Harbour is an outstanding steward of its investors’ capital and the well-deserved winner of Morningstar’s overall award for New Zealand funds management excellence. Originally established as a domestic equities house, the firm has expanded its offering, which now encompasses fixed interest and global capabilities, in
a sensible and well-structured manner. Performance across all asset classes was top-notch in 2015, with investors benefitting from shrewd security selection and well-judged portfolio positioning in difficult market conditions.

Fund Manager of the Year: Fixed Interest Category, New Zealand 2016 – Harbour Asset Management
Harbour’s Christian Hawkesby and Mark Brown have done an exceptional job at developing the firm’s fixed interest capability since joining forces in 2011. Their sound investment process, backed by detailed economic research and modelling, has resulted in a noteworthy track record to date. Investors looking to diversify their portfolio by including fixed interest exposure need look no further than Harbour.


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Well Done ANZ Investments

ANZ Inv logo-header

ANZ Investments was last night named International Equities Manager of the year in the 2016 Morningstar Awards.

This is great recognition for their investment team, who were also finalists for Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year and Morningstar KiwiSaver Manager of the Year.

ANZ Investments is the largest fund management company in New Zealand with over $24 billion in Funds Under Management.

Beyond the annual awards, their investment funds are consistently receiving top ratings for investment performance in Morningstar’s quarterly reports.

*Morningstar award winners are selected based on sound methodologies that emphasise outperformance over one, three, and five-year periods.  The analyst-driven Fund Manager of the Year awards recognise managers who have not only achieved impressive returns, but also been strong stewards of investors’ money.


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Well Done Mint Asset Management

Mint Wins Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Award
for Domestic EquitiesMINT logo

Mint Asset Management has taken out the Fund Manager of the Year award for Domestic Equities at the 2016 Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year awards.

Rebecca Thomas, CEO of Mint Asset Management, said “There are nine years of collective toil behind this win. We are delighted with the award, which is a testament to the rigorous investment process and highly experienced team we have at Mint.”

Tim Murphy, Morningstar Australasia’s director of manager research, said: “The winners of the New Zealand Morningstar Awards have all shown themselves to be first-class stewards of investor capital. The quality of their people, process, parent, price and performance demonstrates their commitment to investors.”


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Once upon a time in a land far away…

I often feel that the opening line to most financial commentators should read like the opening line to a fairy tale, or a nightmare.  They tell stories about a future that hasn’t happened and make up stories that sound like the markets (read share markets) are driven by computers and not humans.

For the person who is just trying to earn a living, save a bit for retirement and generally get along with others the whole idea that there is many options for their savings is usually overwhelming.  This is where we come in, as advisers we understand the majority of options and choose the right one for you.  It is not about product, it is about the best solution for you, which may be a product or a service, or nothing at all, you are sorted.

Right now there is a new product on the market, called Lifetime Retirement Income.  You may remember annuities, they pay an income to you after you had saved for years to gain a lump sum for them to take the income from.  I have seen the conditions of some of these policies, and they are scary.  This is different.

Check out their website and see if this type of solution is right for you, then come and talk to us about it, as always there are risks, conditions and terms that must be understood. Come and see us and we will answer any more questions you have, explain the process and be able to guide you through.

This may not be the right solution for you, so come and see us to discuss your options.

DecisionMakers – and while you are there take the FREE risk tolerance test, find out what type of investor you are, or will be.

DM homepage with free assessment


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Sorry this is belated, but congratulations to Frank who won the book Ready for Anything.  We hope is it providing some great information and that you find the answers to questions you have. Frank was presented the book by one of our Auckland advisers, Colin Austin.


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